If you ran Hartshorne, we’d love to hear your story about how the race went! Just reply to this thread with your report. Thanks!
On Saturday morning, I woke up, and for the first time in many years, I had butterflies in my stomach over a race. While it was the 53’rd running of the Hartshorne Memorial Master’s Mile, it would be the first time I could legally toe the line as a competitor. It is a race I have viewed many times from the sidelines, and earning a spot on the elite start was to be a consolation prize for decading-up to 40.
After the usual breakfast of too much coffee, toast, and some nuts, I packed my gear and donned my lucky 50th Hartshorne hat I had earned from rabbiting the 50’s elite heat 3 years ago. I showed up to Barton Hall as Dixon Hemphill, nonagenarian (+5) and repeat Hartshorne offender was making his way around the oval.
My goal until 11:00 or so would be to hold down the adrenaline so that it wouldn’t be going sour and stale in my system with no outlet to purge it. As in previous years, it was enormous fun watching my friends battle it out on the track - friends from all over upstate New York that I’ve alternately competed against and ran with as teammates in various races over the last decade and a half.
My 11:30 race time crept inexorably closer, and soon it was time to loosen up. The pouring rain outside meant this would happen indoors, so I trotted back and forth chatting with various folks about race strategy, the weather, etc. At 11, I started to let the adrenaline creep in, and was striding a bit of it out to get the central nervous system ready for what was coming.
Then we were at the start line. I and all the guys around me had huge grins on our faces. For myself, it was from amusement at the fact that I was still doing this - working myself up to spend everything I had on 5 (or hopefully less) minutes of completing 8 fast laps around a track that I’ve been running on since 2003.
The gun was off, I moved into the pack, and I was quickly able to find a hole to drop into by the rail. I had fewer people in front of me than I was expecting, and the bunch-up was tighter than I anticipated. The front of the field had taken a relaxed attitude to the start. After two laps I was right where I targeted: right smack in the middle of 73-74 seconds, with the front of the field only 2 seconds ahead. There was a little change-up, and I was glad to see Kenneth Barbee (#5) come around me in the next lap as I knew he was in 4:50 territory, and would be a good man to latch onto. I came into the 800m mark at 2:27, again, right on what I had planned, and felt good. It was time to go to work. Ken was 2 seconds ahead of me, and I painted a mental target on his back. There was no changeup in the next 400 which I clicked off in 72.5 seconds. With 400m to go, all the lights were flashing red in my head, but it was Hartshorne, dammit, so I gunned it. The next 200 went by in 35-high, Ken was less than a second away, but then it was all I could do to hold on to pace for the finish. Ken had gas for that 200m, and got his seconds back.
Jordan Verano seems to have shadowed me for the race, and he came around me quick and put a couple seconds on me.
4:54.01 for my own Hartshorne #1.
It turns out I was lucky in terms of race placement. Immediately behind me there was a cluster of runners, with 5 guys between 2:30 and 2:31 with 800m to go. Brian Lazzaro was part of that pack, but was able to bust out of it with probably one of the most impressive closings of the day, a 32.88 second 200m. Another 50m of track, and I would have been choking on his exhaust.
A million thanks to the race directors, volunteers, and donors who all make this special race possible with their passion for the sport.
There are many things that make the upstate New York running community magical. Hartshorne is an enormous part of this. Here’s to an outstanding set of performances from many people here and from our visitors.
A post was merged into an existing topic: Hartshorne Masters Mile press coverage
I ran track in college (DIII), specializing in sprints, relays, and long jump. I had never competed in anything longer than the 400 m, and my last competition of any type was our conference meet my senior year (1998). Fast forward two decades, I moved to Cornell in December 2017 after 12 years at Columbia. I got roped into assisting Becca Lovenheim with the Lansing Lightning summer track program, along with my training partner Mike Stewart. As part of convincing my boys Oliver and Ben to compete, I ran the mile in the August outdoor track meet that year, where I excreted a time of 6:36. It was my first competition in twenty years. Some spotty training brought that time down to the low 6 minutes for the 2019 outdoor meets, but things got more serious when I joined the High Noon team for the PGXC series this past fall (again at Mike Stewart’s goading–watch out for that guy). I helped the team with precisely 0 points over the five races, but the experience was an epiphany, especially with so many inspiring people from this area running in dominant fashion and with such a great sense of community. My sons and I joined the Mithacal Miler practices this winter, and my initial time trial was a steadily-improved 5:53. The January indoor meet saw that minimally shaved to a 5:47. At the Hartshorne this past weekend, I started in the second row of shame, but felt strong early and was able to move up several positions. I was mostly hoping to keep Peter Frazier and Steven Vanek in view, since I have been aspiring to their level for a while now. In the penultimate lap, I was still feeling strong, unlike in previous races. When we hit the bell lap, I figured I should give it my all, and damned if my all didn’t get given. Sort of felt like the old days, with a solid sub-32 second final 200. I ended up with a 5:29, an 18 second PR over just two weeks prior. Not sure what the difference was, but I chalk it up to Adam’s practices and the heightened context of a truly wonderful event.
Great story, @Tristan_Lambert. A story that brought me back to my roots of running. I, too, was a DIII college track and field participant in the late 1980s. Like you, I too ran sprints, relays and long jump, but also did the triple jump and threw the javelin. The great thing about DIII track, especially if you have a fun and flexible coach, is that you might be able to participate in other events along the way. During several smaller tri-meets, I did a few un-official decathlons by also throwing the shot put and running the 5K, 400 hurdles (that’s a tough race!), 800, and some others. Some of my best friends were x-country and distance runners in track and they got me interested in longer distances. After graduating, I kept running. It wasn’t too tough running 5Ks, but soon was up to running half marathons. It’s been over thirty years of running and it includes a few road marathons and then I converted to trails about 17 years ago and have run several trail marathons, a few 50ks and one 50-miler. Sometimes it’s tough on the fast-twitch muscles, but, yes, they can be converted - just go slower and longer! You can do it too - just do the right training (not saying you should do a 50 miler!). It’s great fun!
Last year, I did it in 5:33 and I had tried twice since then to do it in under 5:30. I hit 5:37 once and 5:39 the next time. In both cases, I was struck by the mental effort required to push on at pace, the will power needed. The first 400 m are easy, your leg muscles are still oxygenated, no lactose (I imagine: I’m making all of this up). But then starting at 400 I would all of a sudden be struck by how hard it was. So my plan was to mentally prepare myself to really tighten the thumb screws right around then and push hard mentally. I shared this plan with some folks at a Tuesday workout session, and Bob Swizdor’s response was along the lines of “You know, you’ve got the legs. So just get all this mental angst out of the way and go with it.” And that did really affect how I saw the thing. I thought, OK, I just need to remind myself that my legs can carry me that fast and not worry too much. I was seeded sixth in my heat. Seed five had a time of 5:27, so close to what I was hoping to hit, so my plan was to pace off of him (Brian Lee). Note that my pacing is quite a bit better now (I think) than it was a year ago. Still a little shaky, as you will see, but I had a lot more confidence in it than earlier. So the pacing plan worked great (thanks Brian!). I was really happy with how quickly I was able to get to the rail. I think Hartshorne runners are very nice. My first four laps were 40.5 on the money, slightly too fast even. In the race, there was no wall after two laps. At the lap marker, someone was calling out our times and for once I could tell that I was right on pace and that gave me confidence and a boost at each lap. Then Brian pulled away. Mentally, that didn’t affect me. I just kept cranking along. Now, who knows cause and effect, but my times for laps five to seven were right around 41.5. A second slower and getting into the danger zone. But I didn’t realize it. I was still on pace for my 5:30 finish and I knew that, and that’s all that mattered. I do suspect that Brian had been pulling me along, but once he got too far ahead, I settled a little. My improvement plan for next year is to try to figure out how to keep cranking at 40.5 for those three laps. Two guys passed me in the sixth lap. It crossed my mind to worry that that might cause me to slow down, you know, the let down from being passed. But I think the light at the end of the tunnel was too close. I tried to ramp it up in lap seven, so 41.1 instead of 41.5. Not much of a ramp. You can always let go and go crazy the last lap, which I did in 38. A pretty good finish, considering that, well, I don’t think I had been saving up for it.
Overall, psychologically, I think it went pretty much the way Bob suggested. I didn’t feel tortured, I didn’t have to push myself with insane reserves of will power. It was just like, OK, I’m doing this, I’m running fast, and nothing else particularly mattered.
And @jeanluc buried the lede, which is that he ran a 5:25.19. Great race, and I’m glad to hear that you broke through that 5:30 barrier so convincingly.
Thanks, Steve! Great advice!
The other lead that I buried was the overall take-home message: it takes a village to beat a PR. I had my team rooting from the sidelines. I had my guru Bob Swizdor helping me reach the right frame of mind. I had Brian Lee pacing me. The race, as always was fabulously organized, so thanks to Adam and Charlie the crew they assembled!
Nice race, Jay. It’s fun to hear your account from a different vantage point. Until I saw the video at the dinner, I hadn’t realized you guys were creeping up on me in the third quarter. At the start, I was sitting on #3 seed Tim Van Orden’s shoulder, thinking I’d go with him when he would inevitably move up through the field. Eventually, I just had to go. That little surge winded me a little, so then I was just trying to keep it steady while gauging how far out I could start my push for the finish. Ryan Mitchell was maintaining about a second and a half lead, and I wasn’t sure he was in reach until I started closing in on the last backstretch. That little encouragement helped spur me on, and, as you said, I had the gas.
So much fun to race head-to-head with great field of masters athletes!
Sorry for the delay on this writeup of the race—things have been busy here.
After last year’s snowpocalypse, we were worried that the weather might once again hurt attendance at the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile, and indeed, a few runners reported slow driving conditions through snow and slush on their way in. But despite it Ithacating outside all day, forcing everyone to warm up indoors, Barton Hall was warm and dry and light, and the race went off without a hitch.
That’s due in large part to the machine that Charlie Fay and Tom Hartshorne have built, and that I’ve maintained and enhanced as race director. Jim Miner and Bill Watson showed up early to help Charlie and me set up, and Jim and John Whitman continued on to manage the registration table, at least until Jim needed to run his race (with spikes, not barefoot!). After being snowbound last year, Joe Simpson returned as clerk of course, and Dan Hurley once again started all the races flawlessly. Megan Powers put in time ahead of the race—coupled with fancy Excel work during—to produce a saddle-stitched results booklet that proved wildly popular with the runners and for which I’m still getting requests. Joel Cisne helped runners take photos in front of our snazzy new photo backdrop, Bruce Roebal ran the lap counter, Truck Rossiter called splits, and Mickie Sanders-Jauquet and Kathleen Gibson held the finish tape for the elite sections. Bert Bland, Sean Nicholson, Aaron Proujansky, Rick Cleary, and Bill Watson helped Tom keep the track clear of wayward collegiate runners. And of course, Steve Gallow took great pictures and Jorge Cuevas produced fabulous videos of each race.
The races themselves were once again huge fun to watch, and I tremendously enjoyed being able to cheer for the runners—at least when I wasn’t off being interviewed for the Spectrum TV News. The FLRC site now has sortable results, and Leone Timing (who do an amazing job) has full results with lap splits.
Combined Women & Men: Our leadoff race showcased our oldest runners, 95-year-old Dixon Hemphill and 85-year-old Edna Hyer (running her 23rd Hartshorne!), along with 75-year-old Joe Reynolds, 73-year-old Harland Bigelow, and 73-year-old Sandy Balling. But it also served as a local return to racing for 52-year-old Oliver Habicht, who has spent the last 18 months fighting pancreatic cancer through chemotherapy, radiation, and major surgery. In the end, Habicht trailed Reynolds for seven laps before opening up a 22-second lead for the win. With luck, next year he’ll be closer to his 6:09 from 2017.
Women Section 1: In this tight race, Kim Jackson led for the first few laps, Colleen Magnussen took over briefly in the middle of the race, and then Jackson retook the lead and kicked it in for the win in 6:52 to Magnussen’s 6:56. Tonya Engst held on for a solid third in 7:01.
Men Section 3: After Jack Salisbury led for the first three laps, 63-year-old Gary Radford ran away from the field to win in 5:57, beating Don Hughes in 6:11 and Salisbury in 6:21. Radford’s performance may have been impressive, but nothing in comparison to his 6000-mile solo bike ride from Key West to Prudhoe Bay in the Arctic Circle between June 1st and August 5th, 2019.
Men Section 2: This race saw the most impressive kick of the day, with Tristan Lambert sitting in third as Peter Frazier led for seven laps. Then Lambert went from 42- and 43-second laps to a final 31.94, the fastest lap of the day for any runner, and won the race in 5:29, 7 seconds ahead of Frazier, who just managed to hold off Robert Mozo at the tape.
Men Section 1: Steve Folsom led a tight pack through 5 laps before Mike Bronson took over for a commanding victory in 5:12, with Brian Lee throwing down a 35-second final lap to nip Folsom at the tape by a second, 5:15 to 5:16. Close behind in fourth was Ryan Niclasen in 5:21, and Walter Silbert outleaned Scott Armstrong by .06 seconds for fifth in 5:23.
Women Elite 2: In this race, early favorite Kristin White hung on rabbit Jenny Berkowitz through 800m before surrendering the lead to Lynn Gottfried. Gottfried cruised in comfortably for the win in 5:59, followed by Julie Barclay in 6:12. Mary Swan kicked hard in the last straightaway to outpace Brenda Osovski by a quarter of a second in 6:13. White finished fifth in 6:27, followed by Betsy Stewart in 6:31, Sandy Gregorich in 6:31, and 68-year-old Coreen Steinbach in 6:53.
Men Elite 2: 62-year-old David Westenberg tucked in behind rabbit Mik Kern to lead this race through seven laps but couldn’t hold off 54-year-old Dale Flanders and 53-year-old John McMahon in the end, finishing third in 5:15 to Flanders’s well-kicked 5:13 and McMahon’s 5:14. Just barely back in fourth was 60-year-old Casey Carlstrom in 5:16. Francis Burdett completed the field in 5:30.
Women Elite 1: After rabbit Bella Burda led a tight four-woman pack through 800m with former All-American Alisa Harvey in the lead, Dianne DeOliviera took over, followed by former Olympian Michelle Rohl. DeOliviera extended her lead through the rest of the race, winning in 5:30, ahead of Rohl’s 5:34 and Harvey’s 5:38, with Amy Fakterowitz in fourth in 5:44, Lorraine Jasper fifth in 5:46, and Joan Totaro sixth in 5:56. 61-year-old Lynn Cooke took seventh in 5:57, but that was good for an astonishing 97.15% age-grading, the best by far for the day from any runner. Filling out the field were Wakenda Tyler in eighth in 6:07 and 60-year-old-Julie Hayden in ninth in 6:16.
Men Elite 1: In our final race of the day, the win was never in question, with 2017 winner Peter Brady shadowing rabbit Adam Pacheck through 1200m before running it in for a commanding victory in 4:36. 2018’s second-place finisher, Dave Welsh, was recovering from the flu but still managed a 4:45 for second place, followed by 55-year-old Kenneth Barbee in 4:51 (his 91.06% age-grading was tops for the men). Then it got tight, with Jordan Varano pulling out an impressive kick and a lean at the line to nip Ryan Mitchell by .04 seconds in 4:52. Next in was Jay Hubisz in 4:54, followed by fellow High Nooner Brian Lazzaro in 4:55, and GVH’s Mike Nier in 4:56. Rounding out the field, Tim Van Orden came through in 5:01, Scott Grandfield in 5:05, and Joe Mora in 5:11.
Finally, I’d like to thank the sponsors who make Hartshorne possible. It takes a lot of money to put on a national-level meet like this, with rabbits, a professional announcer, video of all the races, a post-race banquet, and cash prizes to attract some of the top talent in the US and Canada. The race’s 2020 sponsors include Cayuga Medical Center, Bangs Ambulance, Joe Daley, the Hartshorne Family, Sean Nicholson, Ken Zeserson, Bill Quinlisk, and Felder Track & Field. The masters running community is tremendously appreciative of their support. Just because we’re not so young anymore doesn’t mean we don’t take our racing seriously!
See you next year!
On a whim I decided to run the Hartshorne Mile this year. Usually I have to work the day of the race so I have never made it down. The day after Christmas my daughter paced me in a mile time trial at the HS track. I went 6:21 in trainers so felt there was a good chance I could run under 6:15. I did some workouts with (well far behind) Sascha Scott and felt they supported my hope for close to 6mins. I put down just over 6mins as my seed time and was happy to be placed in the 2nd fastest heat.
A little background about me…other than my short stint of sprints and LJ in HS, I have always been an endurance athlete. I’ve completed numerous marathons, half ironmans and 7 full ironmans. But I have rarely raced a mile. I’ve watched my daughter, Phoebe, race the 1500 often though and felt it looked doable. (I learned after… watching and participating…not the same thing!)
Phoebe agreed to come with me to yell splits out at the 100m mark. The two of us arrived at Barton after a harrowing snowy drive down from Syracuse. We easily found a spot in the stands and quickly made it thru the check-in process.
I was happy to see many familiar names in my heat and was excited to see I was seeded second to Karyl Sargent…a teammate I often am close to in XC races. I figured she would be really good for me to pace off.
I got a good warm up in running with Phoebe and then doing some strides. Before I knew it, my heat was next.
I met Adam who told me Karyl wasn’t there and then he introduced me to our rabbit and the other women in the heat. I was now seeded first so the rabbit was asking me questions…what pace, what I wanted her to do if I wasn’t keeping up, when she should step off, etc. I had no idea…I’ve barely raced on the track…much less with a rabbit! This kind of threw me a bit but I figured it would be good to have someone lead since Karyl wasn’t there.
I told phoebe before the race that I was going to go for 6mins from the start. I wanted to hold 45s. The gun went off and I stepped in right behind the rabbit. The first 2 laps were great…44,46…and then I had a panic attack. Heading into the 3rd lap my legs went numb and I felt like I wasn’t getting oxygen at all. I was still able to hang on going thru 800 in 3:02 but then the next 3 laps were a blur of runners going by me and convincing myself that stepping off the track would be worse than the discomfort I was currently feeling. I could see phoebe each lap telling me to pick it up and to go with whomever was passing me at that point. On auto pilot I just kept putting one foot in front of the other (albeit slower and slower!). I somehow made it to the final lap and was able to pick it up a tiny bit. Seeing the finish line was such a relief. I wasn’t even able to focus on the clock so I didn’t find out my time til later. 6:27. 6 seconds SLOWER than my time trial.
I am really not sure what triggered the panic attack although I can surmise. Clearly I put a ton of pressure on myself to do well. After 2 laps I felt a pain that I rarely have ever felt in an endurance race and my mind said you can’t do this. I let that takeover. I worried about letting Phoebe down (“mom you totally didn’t let me down” she told me on the ride home). Fortunately I haven’t experienced many of these panic attacks in races. And when I have it has been in a race that lasts 6 hours not 6 mins so there’s time to recover. This was a totally different beast for me!
In the end, I was disappointed with my time but not with the race. I learned some things and am still convinced I’ve got a 6min in me (or at least a 6:15!). The great thing about Hartshorne is it got me fired up to keep trying. Also it made me able to empathize with Phoebe more when she is racing. I told her from now on instead of telling her to pick it up in a race I’ll just say run how you feel!! Lol.
Final note: I got an amazing surprise email from Adam telling me I won $50 for my age graded performance!!! Now I have to come back to defend my finish
Just read @jeanluc post…wow I think that’s exactly how I felt after 400!!! Defly will use your “mental training” advice as I prepare to try this race distance again in the future!!! Super impressive race!!
Great report, Kristin, and as I think you’ve discovered, the mile is a unique race. It’s long enough to require strategy and mental fortitude, but short enough that you don’t have much time to recover from a mistake like going out way too fast (not that you did—your pacing early was perfect). I’d really recommend reading John L. Parker’s Once a Runner for insight into the mental side. It’s fiction, but still the best description of what it’s like to race a mile.
The other beauty of the mile is that it doesn’t take much out of you, so you can do another one the next week without any trouble. That may be a bit less true of the Ironman.